Stressing the need for registering all the persons with disabilities who have attained the age of 18 years and are eligible for right to franchise have access to voting, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Shaleen Kabra said that persons with disabilities (PwDs) are equally entitled to participate in the election process and to elect representative of their choice.The Chief Electoral Officer was speaking at the day-long consultative workshop organized by the State Election Department here today.The aim for organizing the workshop was to taking forward the theme of National Voters’ Day (NVD) 2018 “Accessible Elections” to make the electoral process more inclusive and friendly for the Persons with Disabilities (PwDs).During the workshop, threadbare discussions were held to prepare a comprehensive strategy to ensure adequate and quality facilitation of PwDs for their wholesome participation in the electoral process including their enrolment and sensitization.As many as 70 participants from government departments and NGOs took part in the workshop. The participants shared their experiences and suggested measures with regard to inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral roll and providing them conducive friendly atmosphere of their participation in the electoral process.
The CEO said that active participation in the political process and the right to vote are prerequisites for any democratic country and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are equally entitled to be facilitated in casting their vote. He said that the only way to have their voices heard in poll results is for them to be provided with as much ease of voting as everyone else and ensuring their cent percent enrolment.Shaleen Kabra said that 34600 PwDs who voluntarily indicated their disability, have been registered so far. The services of Government departments and NGOs shall be taken to strengthen the process of inclusion of PwDs in electoral roll in future as per ECIs instruction/Structure, he added.The CEO said that the awareness material such as guide for General voters in Braille and SVEEP plan for PwDs will be prepared at CEO level and shared with all the stakeholders/districts. As per GOI directions, offices of CEO and DEOs will be made disabled friendly, besides the necessary facilities for PwDs shall also be provided/ensured at polling stations for the forthcoming elections.